I was curious as to how this design was crafted, I'm assuming in a hands on sense. My approach would be to print the original text and pour this liquid material overtop of it to cause the distortion, then take a photo of it, but what material would be suggested to achieve this effect?

  • You cannot "make water do that" so it was not done physically.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 18:30
  • I was thinking it could be a gel type liquid though, not water. Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 18:39
  • 3
    I think it's a digital print on plastic paper with a thick layer of epoxy resin manipulated to follow the text distortion. Those bubbles are made of epoxy resin. Ask the author.
    – user120647
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 19:35
  • 1
    Notice the hint that the lettering itself is distorted (through a gap in the melted glass effect - 2nd line) without the effect overlay.
    – Stan
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 23:11

4 Answers 4


University of Design and Art / Poster by C2F

It looks like bags of a gel-like liquid that has been melted in places and/or had glue from a glue gun applied. However, this could also be a 3D image effect.

Probably the best way to find out is to ask the creator C2F

C2F is a swiss communication design studio founded 2006 by Cybu Richli and Fabienne Burri. We provide solutions in visual communication for clients in the fields of culture and commerce. Personal commitment and passion are our basics. We offer our clients unique solutions: critical thinking leads to the creation of new and innovative design.

Our focus is on:

  • Editorial Design
  • Identity
  • Information Design

enter image description here

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Watching it a while reveals some details.

  1. Where the letters are especially stretched vertically, there the internal bubbles also are vertically stretched => aftewards warping has been applied

  2. Some too good hits - a letter is perfectly focused in the middle of a bubble and shown in reduced size, the texts seem to follow the bends of the material

  3. Word hochschule is warped also on plain paper

  4. fuzziness (=blur) here and perfect transparency there = non plausible if the material is the same. The fuzziness seems to be added to hide optical inconsistencies

  5. The material has been sticky in some phase - the fibers reveal it. It can be some cast plastic or even glass. I would try at first hot melt adhesive. If it's not too hot, it can get freezed to complex forms.


The texts are added and modified afterwards. The transparent block can have been placed on a written page or grid, but the result has been used as guide only. The final result has been edited manually. Very complex warping job, I say!

Alternatively several photos have been taken and the text has been moved between shots. This way one can get every needed word acceptably in some shot and combine them. The glosses can be ON or OFF depending on where the light come from. Both versions are needed.

The glosses fortunately are already there, but still the effort is remarkable and probably well beyond the patience resources of most Photoshop users.


My workflow would be:


  • I want to control the gel shape

  • The lighting of the text

  • The refraction and to put the right text on the right gel

The ideas:

1) Transparent acrylic further away from the bottom plane, so the gel does not cast its own shadows, or at least I can control them.

2) Large softbox for the reflection.

3) Probably some backlight if the shadows are too strong. The amount of it depends on the final composition.

4) Work with hair gel, but cooled down so it has more "body".

5) Pure it with the pretend text below it as reference.

6) Taking some photos in a consecutive way taken very fast.

  • The actual text

  • White background

  • Grid with some references

If the first image does not work, I would use the second one with the third one as a reference and compose it on Photoshop using the wrap tool.

In my opinion, it is composed, because some text is wrapped too much and I doubt with only the refraction of the gel is possible.


I managed to accomplish the effect I was going for with something as simple as green hand sanitizer. I printed out my design, put a plastic sleeve over it, then simply poured the sanitizer on it. It achieved the effect (especially with the bubbles) that I was looking for!

enter image description here

  • Re: Marking yourself as the correct answer & changing who is the correct answer multiple times. Kevin, I get the impression you are trying to fulfil the objectives set out for you in "Select your next badge". In my opinion, the bronze badges are meaningless. Go for the silvers and gold.
    – Electron
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 2:12

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